Transport Notes

53 items available

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The goal of Transport Notes series is dissemination of recent experiences and innovations in the World Bank Group’s transport sector operations.

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  • Publication
    E-Bus Economics: Fuzzy Math?
    (International Finance Corporation, Washington, DC, 2020-01) Graham, John
    Electrifying the global urban vehicle fleet depends on the convergence of several economic, technological, and political factors. However, the big shift to electric vehicles will likely take place only when the economics of owning and operating electric becomes a no-brainer. Using the example of electric buses, two factors must fall into place before the electric option can take off: first, the upfront cost needs to come down and second, there needs to be a change in procurement culture towards lifecycle cost or total cost of ownership (TCO). If utilities can structure out fluctuations in power costs (through PPAs) and the marketplace moves to leasing and other fixed-price operations and maintenance arrangements, these calculations can standardize across the board quickly. This is when the math starts to get a lot less fuzzy.
  • Publication
    Bumps in the Road: Challenges to E-bus Implementation
    (International Finance Corporation, Washington, DC, 2020-01) Graham, John
    Dozens of municipalities are experimenting with e-buses, while some last-mile delivery companies are using pilot fleets to test performance. At the same time, a smaller group of operators are pushing ahead with more drastic, big bang efforts to put dozens or even hundreds of electric vehicles into service. The authors saw how some locations have already reached total cost of ownership (TCO) parity, while other places will require further reductions in costs and perhaps some forward-thinking tax and tariff policies. The bad news is that the track record for electric buses to date has been mixed, and e-bus adoption has not scaled up as fast as many had hoped due to institutional, technical, and financial challenges. For those seeking to stay the course with internal combustion engines, there are plenty of valid arguments. This report will bring some of the problems out in the open.